Thursday, June 5, 2008

Can’t Mind My Own Business/Big Know-It-All

When tourists ask me for directions in Chicago, I’m never content to point them down the street and be on my merry way. Oh no, I have to make sure whatever route I devise will provide them with the best opportunities for sightseeing, and I never want to send them on a journey that might be unpleasant (it’s stressful and dirty to walk under the train tracks) or affront their senses with bad scenery (it is clearly my duty to keep this city’s architectural reputation intact).

A few weeks ago, a group of strangers asked if it was too far to walk to Millennium Park from a street corner near my office. I pursed my lips and considered the weather (sun out, slight breeze), their footwear (tennis shoes, but not with ideal arch support), and how much it would cost them to take a cab (roughly $8). I recommended they walk, and furthermore instructed them to pause on the LaSalle Street bridge for a photo op and be sure to take note of the new Trump Tower. I then made them promise to re-visit Millennium Park at dusk for better viewing of the Crown Fountain.

This morning, I stopped at a water fountain on the lakefront and was approached by a bookish-looking teenage girl on a bike. She was clad in full racing spandex and clutching a hand-drawn map. The conversation:

Bike Girl: “Do you know where the chess pavilion is?”
Me: “It’s back the other way.”
Bike Girl (consulting map): “So I need to go back that way?”
Me: “Yes.”
Bike Girl (confused): “But do you know where the Lincoln Park Zoo is?”
Me: “What is your ultimate destination?”
Bike Girl: “The zoo.”
Me: “Well you’re here! Just ride up this street for a block and turn left into the parking lot. But you know, bikes aren’t allowed in the zoo.”
Bike Girl: “Oh. Well, I’m working there, and they said I could ride my bike.”
Me: “Then I’m sure you’re fine.”

There were so many other things I wanted to ask, such as: Who drew that map? How far did you ride your bike to get here? What kind of work are you doing at the zoo? What is your favorite zoo animal? I refrained, but just barely.

P.S. Speaking of bikes, I went on my maiden cycling voyage of the summer last weekend and took this picture (see above). Please be informed that because my bike has now completed one full year of service, she will henceforth be referred to as Old Yeller.

P.P.S. It is so prissy when my ponytail starts swinging during my workout. There’s nothing I can do to control it unless I wear a low ponytail, which is uncomfortably hot on the neck. If you see me with a swingy ponytail, please do not think I’m trying to put on cheerleader-ish airs.

P.P.P.S. I can’t believe I didn’t get my picture with Barack Obama a year ago, when it would have been a cinch. Now I get invitations to Obama fundraisers that require a $5,000 donation for a picture with the future pres (!!!). Since that’s probably more than the Blue Book value of Black Beauty, I doubt we’ll be posing together anytime soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Old Yeller looks brilliant and fund. Thank you for being taking care of the visitors/loss bikers. I remember my first time wandering around Chicago...utterly lost :-)

And I won't even mention the fundraiser event...just think, 5000 big ones is a new piece of handbag bling from Chanel...Pix with the Pres...or Chanel?